All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review


Andre Matos: Rosa-Shock

Phil DiPietro By

Sign in to view read count

Andre Matos, at 27, is the latest young guitarist to take aim at the international jazz scene from the strategic port of Lisbon and its effervescent Tone of a Pitch imprint. Like his labelmates, Matos is a free thinker. He combines modern jazz with the attitude, mood and tinge of modern rock and creates what could be termed "alternative" jazz, but not the kind that manipulates Nirvana covers. Both in writing and execution, Matos takes more than literal ownership of his alternative.

The most obvious difference between this and some of the other stellar TOAP dates, is the presence of a vocalist, the remarkable Sara Serpa. With four new releases hitting almost simultaneously—including a brilliant debut recording, she makes an unexpected and deceptively simple bid to challenge nothing less than the very concept of the role of a jazz vocalist in a small ensemble. Serpa doesn't sing songs as much as she becomes part of them, using no lyrics, with a natural vocalese that cannot be called scatting. Singing as any front-line member of the ensemble would play, she moves effortlessly from melodist to soloist to ensemble voice.

Matos plays a huge part in her working band, and she in his, with each composing all the songs on their new releases. The first and last tracks of this session will reveal that Matos' writing can be differentiated by texture and mood. There's occasional heaviness or darkness that can be lifted, as on "Serra De Sintra," which sounds like the soundtrack for encountering the lush, haunting mountain range for which it's named. When Serpa unleashes guttural gyrations near at the midpoint of the journey, she remains spellbinding. "Moody" recalls the work of Theo Bleckmann and Ben Monder, who specialize in transforming darkness to light, as Serpa's melody does to Matos' underpinnings. Demian Cebaud's multi-tracked bass bowing and plucking add another lush, yet oblique, angle to the arc of this song.

Without a vocalist, we're indoctrinated into "Lisboa for Beginners" which sets a stirring mood that takes its time, embracing and inviting, as Matos summons with chords and Alex Frazao exhorts with drums. Landing in the welcoming but intense arms of Albert Sanz' piano, sensory ruminations turn into sensual counterpoint. Sanz' rejoinder allows the arc of Matos' short solo to resolve the travelogue.

"Rosa-Shock" is hot pink, a rock band laying it on thick over a six minute ostinato, with Matos taking it into the stratosphere with some distortion and the tasteful use of a harmonizer pedal.

"Suitcase" is gorgeously deceptive, as Serpa merely states a melody that repeats every eight bars, but over a different harmony. Sanz, never in a rush, packs dense information into his discerning choices, raising the lyricism quotient. Matos' improvisation then entwines with Sepra's restatement of the melody, providing a half-spontaneous etude, which is a telling highlight.

Because if Serpa's Praia and this recording by Matos are any indication, their dance should continue to be fruitful, surprising and enticing for years to come.

Track Listing: Moody; Fusca; Rosa-Shock; Rare Birds; Lisboa For Beginners; Silent Witness; James Brown; Suitcase; Serra De Sintra.

Personnel: Andre Matos: guitar; Sara Serpa: voclas; Albert Sanz: piano; Demian Cabaud : bass; Alex Frazao: drums.

Title: Rosa-Shock | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Tone of a Pitch Music


comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles


Inner Circle Music



Tone of a Pitch Music


Related Articles

Read Live In Healdsburg CD/LP/Track Review
Live In Healdsburg
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 19, 2018
Read Carpe Diem CD/LP/Track Review
Carpe Diem
by Don Phipps
Published: March 19, 2018
Read Exotica CD/LP/Track Review
by Chris May
Published: March 19, 2018
Read Oriental Orbit CD/LP/Track Review
Oriental Orbit
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 19, 2018
Read Brightbird CD/LP/Track Review
by Henning Bolte
Published: March 19, 2018
Read Peaks of Light CD/LP/Track Review
Peaks of Light
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 18, 2018
Read "Sing House" CD/LP/Track Review Sing House
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 30, 2017
Read "Graviton" CD/LP/Track Review Graviton
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 8, 2017
Read "Solo: Reflections and Meditations on Monk" CD/LP/Track Review Solo: Reflections and Meditations on Monk
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 10, 2017
Read "EE-YA-GI (Stories)" CD/LP/Track Review EE-YA-GI (Stories)
by Troy Dostert
Published: November 13, 2017
Read "Chimeric Stoned Horn" CD/LP/Track Review Chimeric Stoned Horn
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 3, 2017
Read "Post Bop Gypsies" CD/LP/Track Review Post Bop Gypsies
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 30, 2017